AO3 News

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Published:
2010-12-11 14:27:47 -0500
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This post is also available in Deutsch and Español.

This is the time of year when fans participate in fic exchanges and drink mulled cider and curse out the Archive of Our Own for being so @#$!% slow. Because after a day of fighting holiday crowds or waiting on lines in department stores, nothing bums you out like getting Error 502: Page did not respond in a timely fashion on your favorite comfort fic.

Believe us: we know!  We're fans too, and we use the AO3, and after a long day fighting holiday crowds or coding a new feature, nothing bums us out like getting Error 502 on our favorite comfort fic, either.

We want you to know we're doing something about it! We're currently in the process of putting together a new systems architecture -- including the imminent purchase of several very shiny new servers thanks to your support -- that will boost performance substantially.

We could (and did) make lots of guesses going in to our latest big deploy, which included the Rails 3 upgrade we needed to make before we proceeded with the systems revamp, and we did our best to put in performance improvements both on the way and immediately after the deploy. But there is no substitute in the end for looking at actual results from real-world usage.

We're now at 11,000 users and 120,000 works: we've grown much faster than any of us ever dreamed!

So what exactly is going to happen with this new design?

We currently are running on two servers -- a single database server and a single Rails app server.

The new architecture will look something like this:

diagram of server topology

Click image to see larger

Basically, we are moving to a design where we can easily in future plug in additional machines as needed for performance improvements.

We are currently buying the new servers to implement this architecture, but we don't think it's a really good idea to implement a major system change like this right now. Implementing this new architecture isn't trivial, and we plan to do it in a more controlled way and with a little more leeway for downtime once things slow down in the new year. There's a lot going on at the AO3 - not just Yuletide, but loads of other holiday fic exchanges - and we don't really want the whole thing to go boom.

But also, in this process, Yuletide, our first and biggest test case, is part of the long-term solution. Having thousands of users all banging on the same parts of the archive all at once and stressing our system to the limits helps us identify where the biggest bottlenecks are, and that in turn tells us what our priorities need to be when we buy our hardware.

That means things are slow now. And we're very sorry about that. It's part of why the AO3 is still in beta. We won't be taking the "beta" sign off until we have reasonable confidence that the system can handle potentially millions of users and stories, without falling down and going boom or having major slowdowns. But we are not there yet!

So we need to ask for your patience. Yuletide and other exchanges - and the resulting intense usage - are tremendously useful in the long run for the AO3 and its designers and sysadmins. It is all part of the beta process - so please understand it is all necessary for us to get the AO3 to where it needs to be!

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Published:
2010-11-29 15:34:01 -0500
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Welcome to Revision 3403, up from 3295. Since our last set of release notes we've had a bunch of small bugfix releases and added enough extra bits of code to warrant another round-up - we've rounded up the key changes here. These release notes put together for you by new tester mumble - thanks, mumble!

A note on Archive performance

Anyone who has accessed the Archive recently will have noticed that it is very slow. This is due to a combination of different factors - our servers are at more-or-less full capacity (we're getting new ones soon!), some of the changes in our Rails 3 upgrade unexpectedly slowed down code or required some Systems readjustment, and we're experiencing a high level of demand due to holiday challenges including Yuletide.

If you repeatedly receive a 502 error on the same page, but other pages on the Archive seem to be loading fast(ish), it's possible that your browser has cached the error page. Try clearing your browser cache if this is happening to you. (However, unfortunately quite a lot of the 502 errors are real ones.)

We know it's super-frustrating for everyone when the site is slow, and our coders and Systems team are working like crazy (seriously, eighteen-hour days in some cases) to make performance improvements. Please bear with us - we're doing our best!

Highlights


"Share" a work

This was already introduced in the last big release, but got lost in the barrage of new features and fixes. Works now come with a "Share" button above the header, which enables you to quickly paste all relevant information about the fic (title, author, fandom, pairings, word count etc. etc.) into a Livejournal post or similar, to either link to your own work or to a story you want to recommend. The same button can be found on all works you've added to your AO3 bookmarks. No more fiddly copy-pasting or formatting, it's already been done for you!

Challenge improvements

Yuletide proved to be a good test case for creating a challenge with several thousand users and fandoms. Most of the major problems could be solved during the sign-up phase, other bits and pieces are still being worked on. The sign-up form was streamlined to lessen the load on our servers, and the summary page (for an overview of offered and requested fandoms) was rewritten to deal with a large number of sign-ups and an equally large number of people continuously hitting refresh in excitement. Several smaller issues regarding secrecy and fandom stats were fixed as well. This release also added a "See Open Challenges" button to the collections page, which lets you do just that. The list is based on the "Signup open?" ticky box under Challenge Settings, which a moderator has to check or uncheck manually, so if they forget to do this, the challenge might show up even if the dates say it's closed. You can see the current list here.

Spam protection on the Support form

We were getting hit with spam through the Support form, so we installed Akismet to weed out the p3n1s-related messages. This shouldn't affect regular support requests and feedback, but if you run into any problems, please let us know in the comments to this post.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page.

Release details

Features

  • Option to share a work through preformatted header information for easy copy-pasting (since 0.8.2)
  • List of all challenges which are currently open
  • More improvements to automated tests
  • Made the HTML parser behave more consistently
    • the <del> tag works now
    • <br /> tags will be added to all linebreaks, so if you've pasted a work from an email message or similiar, you'll have to strip out any unwanted carriage returns first
    • Formatting tags such as <em> or <strong> that span across several paragraphs will be closed by the parser at the end of one paragraph and re-opened in the next
    • Fixed an issue with <hr /> tags (which should go on their own line with no surrounding text to allow the parser to do its thing)
  • Added an email link to assignments that only the challenge owner can see

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a tag wrangling bug regarding the introduction of new fandoms
  • Fixed an issue with auto-complete in the fandom field when posting a work
  • Fixed several issues regarding collections and challenges
    • You can now post works to a collection before fulfilling your main assignment
    • If you've posted a work to a secret exchange, this work's fandom won't show up on your user page before reveal
    • If a challenge has more than x sign-ups, the summary page will only be generated hourly to make it less of a resource hog (currently x = 20)
  • Added an error message when auto-complete can't find characters or relationships for the fandom you entered (or when you forgot to enter a fandom)
  • Fixed a bug where the Rich Text Editor wouldn't work after preview
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn't dedicate more than one gift to the same user
  • Unbroke the tag clouds (which now actually show the most popular and some random tags, respectively)
  • Fixed a bug that would delete characters from titles in epub and mobi files

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Published:
2010-11-15 17:47:23 -0500
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Today, November 15th, is the first anniversary of the Open Beta launch of the Archive of Our Own! We're totally thrilled to reach this milestone!

Open Beta was the launch of our beautiful Archive into the fannish world at large, and came after two years of intense coding, testing, fundraising, writing of docs, development of policy, and other amazing work. Everyone working on the Archive was super-excited to be able to share the fruits of this work with the rest of fandom, after a year of testing with just a small group of volunteers in Closed Beta.

The results since we launched suggest that fandom loved our shiny work as much as we did! We have expanded faster than we ever dreamed.

When we entered Open Beta on 15 November 2009 we had:

  • 347 users

  • 668 fandoms

  • 6565 works

At the time of writing we have reached:

  • 10649 users

  • 7757 fandoms

  • 116888 works

We're looking forward to seeing our userbase grow and diversify even more - our International Outreach committee have been working hard on the mission of improving the experience for multinational fans. We already have 22 languages represented on the Archive, but we want to see more! (Let Support know if you want to post in a language not represented on that list!)

All this fannish activity filled up our servers quick-smart, so after only one year we're investing in new, much more powerful ones - an investment made possible by the generous support of fandom at large.

We've still got much, much more work to do - Open Beta is, well, beta, and it's been a year of immense change and growth for us. We've learnt a lot about what makes our users happy and we look forward to improving based on all the feedback we've had from fandom. But we're also VERY proud of how much we've achieved so far. Here are a few reflections from staffers on what reaching the first anniversary of Open Beta means to them - do add your thoughts in comments!

Zooey Glass, AD&T Chair

I'm totally amazed and proud of how much work and dedication has gone into this project. I was around last year for Open Beta, and I remember how crazily hard everyone involved was working (I think I still feel exhausted by it). Just this week, I've watched my team sit up all night to test and deploy new code - and then to bugfix when unexpected problems cropped up - and it makes me feel awed and proud. There's so much passion and so much hard work invested in this project.

For me personally, the year since Open Beta has also been about learning - about what kind of features users want, how to communicate with people inside the org and out, how to balance what we want and what we need, and HUGE amounts about servers and code and technical stuff I never dreamed I could understand (I was an English major!). My personal journey also reflects the journey the Archive has taken, and I know everything we have learnt this year will go to make the next year even better. I choke up when I see the feedback we get from users - fandom has supported us not only financially but also by taking the time to say thanks when they see things they enjoy. We're so glad we make you happy, and we really appreciate it when you tell us!

On a practical note, I also LOVE reading on the Archive - so much nommy fic to enjoy!

Helka Lantto, International Outreach member and Finnish translator

My involvement with AO3 has been mostly as a user – as a reader, to be exact. I began reading fic on the Archive after the Open Beta launch, and with time passing, I've come to prefer it to any other archive. True, the code is still in beta, but the Archive shows so much promise that I can't help but love it. In the future, my involvement with the Archive will grow when we get to translate the interface. It'll be a huge undertaking, especially for a small team like Finnish (hint! hint!), but it'll be worth it. It warmed my heart to see that we already have a few fics in Finnish there. Let's hope that with the translation of the interface, we'll get more of them.

Sidra, Systems Co-Chair and AD&T coder

The past two years have been a tremendous learning experience. Those of us in Systems had little to no experience with web applications that receive (during busy times) more than sixty thousand hits per hour, or databases that average two hundred requests per second. And those numbers will just keep climbing. Keeping the servers up and running has been a challenge but the rewards have been huge. Every time I look at the Archive I think, "I helped make this happen". And every time I see something I wish were different (which is, unfortunately, quite often), I know that I can work on making it better.

Enigel, AD&T coder, honorary tester, tag wrangler

I remember the flurry of activity before we launched Open Beta - coding, testing, bug-hunting, performance-testing - and the worries about the best number of invites to hand out per day. There were around 300 users back then, and I can now, when we're at over 10 000, confess that I had some doubts about the worrying itself. I was thinking to myself that it was kind of presumptuous to imagine the hordes of people knocking on our door before we were sure they were indeed going to be that eager, you know? ;)

It was amazing, over the next days, to see people asking for invites, people posting their works, people actually using this thing I had helped build. Every message with praise was a sign we did something good, every message with criticism was a sign that people cared enough to let us know what could be improved, and was a step towards making the Archive better.

10 000 users and 100K works later, I still have that awe and joy at seeing people use the Archive. If you notice something you think could be better, remember: your next support request might become my next coding project! :)

Kristen Murphy, Webmasters chair and tag wrangler

We made this. Once upon a time someone asked, "Can't we do this?" and fandom answered, "YES." That can-do, DIY spirit is one of my favorite things about the Archive. Every time I visit it, whether it's to browse for new works, post a story of my own, or wrangle tags, I think: this is here because a whole lot of fans cared enough to make it happen. The Archive truly is a labor of love. And it isn't only the staff and volunteers who have made it happen, although their efforts have been superheroic — this has been and continues to be a community-wide endeavor. Everyone who offered feedback on the early drafts of the TOS, everyone who's ever submitted a bug report or suggestion, everyone who's donated, everyone who's helped spread the word by posting a story to the Archive and inviting their friends to come and read it — all of these people have made the Archive possible and are helping to make it better, day by day. Thank you.

Rebecca Tushnet, Content Policy chair

I'm pretty sure there are monkeys that know more code than I do, but I'm so pleased to be able to participate in building the Archive by working on policy language that is, we hope, understandable, flexible, and inclusive. What the AO3 means to me is an archive that tries to do things that fans want done in a way that is sustainable in the long term. I have particularly enjoyed seeing tags used in new and exciting ways, combining folksonomy with structured organization. I really admire all the fans who've coded, wrangled, and kept the site up and running, and I look forward to the shiny new servers to make things even better.

Megan Westerby, Archive Support Chair and Development Officer

Stepping into the Support Committee recently I was struck by not only the Archive's fast growth but with how diverse that growth has been. When the Archive went into Open Beta there were 668 fandoms represented -- to have 7757 fandoms just one year later, on servers we own, on a system we built, on an Archive we've invested in -- it's boggling to think where we might be in a year, after video embeds, tagging structure and bookmarking start to make an impact. It's boggling and encouraging. We're building a home and a future and we built it from the foundation up.

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Published:
2010-11-13 12:34:00 -0500
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Yuletide Treasure, an annual fic exchange challenge hosted by Astolat and Elynross, is running on on the Archive of Our Own again this year. This is a big fannish event which has a big impact on the Archive: this post aims to give a bit more information about the relationship between Yuletide and the AO3 and to give Archive users an idea of what to expect while the challenge is running — roughly from now until the first week of January.

Yuletide is not an OTW project; rather, it's a private project created and moderated by two fans who make decisions about how it will be run. The timeline and parameters of the Yuletide challenge are set by the Yuletide moderators, and the Archive team expends significant time and effort to accommodate those needs for two compelling reasons: first, because it is part of the OTW's mission to support at-risk fannish endeavors such as Yuletide; and second, because Yuletide provides a valuable test case for the Archive, providing us with the opportunity to develop and refine our code in realistic conditions while the site is still in beta. Because of the size of the Yuletide challenge, it provides us with a level of use which would be exceedingly difficult to replicate under testing conditions. In addition, because one of the Yuletide mods is also a staffer with the OTW, we have the ability to work closely with them and get the feedback we need.

Yuletide is a very large challenge with thousands of participants, and it involves periods of heavy server traffic — particularly around the time of sign-ups, the story-uploading deadline, and the day stories are revealed to readers. Although our volunteers have been working hard to improve system performance, we know that this heavy traffic will cause the Archive to be slow, and we fully expect that some things will break. Please understand that this is the nature of beta testing. We know it's no fun to encounter a slow or buggy website when you're trying to view or post works, but by testing the Archive under the intense conditions of Yuletide now, we can learn where the problems are and how best to correct them while the code is still in beta. This is particularly important for us this year, as we're on the brink of investing lots of money in new, shiny servers, and understanding where the points of stress are in the existing servers will help us evaluate our needs going forward.

The Archive staff wish to express our gratitude to everyone who is assisting with this massive effort, including the coders, testers, tag wranglers, Support and Systems staff, Astolat and Elynross, and the many Yuletide participants who have pitched in to help with testing and tag checking. We would also like to ask all Archive beta users, including those who are not participating in Yuletide, for their patience and understanding during the next several weeks. We cannot promise that everything will run smoothly, but we can promise that this experience will help us make the Archive stronger, more resilient, and generally shinier in the future. If you'd like to participate more directly in making the Archive better, we welcome feedback and volunteers!

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Published:
2010-11-11 23:17:54 -0500
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Welcome to Revision 3295, up from 2998. This release is a big one - we've upgraded the framework the Archive runs on to version 3 of Rails, which involved rewriting ALL the code.

7 different coders contributed code to this release, and many, many more people worked to bring it about. Major kudos to Sidra, Elz and Naomi, who did all the heavy lifting when it came to rewriting ALL the code. We're also excited to welcome first commit from new coder rebecca, who contributed lots of fixes to this release! Thanks to Cesy and all the coders who worked to write Cucumber tests, which helped us make this upgrade with confidence. Much gratitude to Eylul and Kylie, our test leads, for their hard work coordinating volunteer testers and testing. And thank you to everyone else who contributed with support, documentation, cheerleading, tag wrangling - and to the users who contributed generously during our October membership drive to help provide a secure financial future for the Archive (next stop - more servers!) \0/

Highlights


Rails 3 upgrade

This release is also known as "OMG Rails 3! \o/" You might see us a little excited by this - so excited we added a special Rails 3 Archive logo for this deploy. :) We have upgraded the framework the Archive runs on to Rails 3 - this basically meant rewriting or tweaking ALL the code. Most of the changes should be invisible to users, but Rails 3 should bring a lot of performance improvements. The awesome testing team and temporary testers have done an amazing job of doing a full regression test in a very short time, making sure that you see only the nice outcomes of the upgrade!

Sanitizer and parser changes

We have significantly changed our HTML sanitizing and parsing. When you post a work on the Archive, we check the code and strip out anything that we can't be sure is safe, and also format it nicely for you. We used to do this when someone viewed the code, but that was a big performance drain! Now we do it when we save the code, and when you edit you'll be able to see the formatted code we produced (don't be alarmed when HTML tags show up on edit!). This should make things much clearer for authors and much faster for readers! For more details of the change and how it will affect you, please see our post on the new parser.

Video embedding

We're super-excited to be able to announce the introduction of something many people have been waiting for - you can now embed video on the Archive! Video embeds are working from Youtube, Vimeo, blip.tv, Dailymotion, Viddler, Metacafe and 4shared. We have to limit it to specific sites for security reasons, but if you use another hosting site and want us to add it, please submit a support request with a link to the site and we'll add it if we can.

AO3.org

We spent some shiny pennies to purchase AO3.org, so now, if you type this into your browser, it will redirect to archiveofourown.org. Less typing for you!

Gift Exchange improvements

Gift exchanges now offer the following dazzling options to moderators setting
them up:
- allow offer/request ANY
- require unique values across prompts/offers (ie "all fandoms must be unique")
- generate fandom, character, relationship, and freeform tag lists based on the average number of uses of the tag on the Archive (so if you want to run a challenge focused on under represented characters you can create an easy list to start with)
- restrict character/relationship/freeform tag autocomplete to those belonging to
the selected fandom (this depends on whether they have been wrangled by our team of intrepid wranglers - get in touch with them via a support request if you have particular needs)

New default font

You may notice that headings on the Archive now look a bit different. We used to use a custom font, Fertigo, which was packaged with the Archive (so every user could see it, regardless of whether they had it installed on their own computer). It was very pretty! Unfortunately, it did not behave well with some non-Latin characters, and was causing a few perfomance issues too, so we have retired it. If you have works in Cyrillic or Greek which previously had weird characters in the title, this change should fix it.

If you miss Fertigo and would like it back, or you want to change the way the Archive looks in other ways, don't forget you can create a custom skin! Check out our tutorial on skins for more information.

Known Issues


See our Known Issues page.

Release details

Features



  • Challenges code

  • A lot of improvements and additions to automated tests

  • Some extra security to tag wrangle filtering

  • Renamed user-generated-views to userstuff for conciseness

  • Huge overhaul of sanitizing and parsing

  • Added custom author parser in preparation for rescuing the whitfic and
    grahamslash archives

  • Ability to turn off tag wrangling at times of heavy traffic

  • Adding page for fandoms without wranglers

  • Styling and sorting for challenge summary page

  • Swapped out birthday party icon for another temporary icon celebrating our Rails upgrade!

  • Modified styling in the rich text editor so that it displays in the same way as it will look on post.

  • Improved accuracy of wordcount feature. \0/

  • Modified comment link on downloads so that it goes direct to the 'Add comment' form, for greater feedbacking ease.

  • Added ability for admins to edit public skins.

  • Added meta section for downloaded works.

  • Added ability to delete or post drafts directly from the 'My Drafts' page.

  • Added ability to tag works on import.

  • Moved 'Mark to read later' to the top of works.

  • Retired our old custom font, Fertigo.

  • Added a descriptive title for downloads so that all devices list downloads by the work title instead of just by 'download'.

  • Added ability to restrict downloading works to logged-in users, for times of heavy load or in case of a DoS attack.

  • Changed the list of fandoms on user profile pages so that it only shows fandom tags they have actually used on their works (not the parent metatags) and sorts those in order of the number of works.

Bug Fixes



  • Fix for "Chapter 1" heading appearing on downloads of stories with only one chapter

  • Unposted chapters included in downloads

  • Fixed bug with edit option showing on the work preview page.

  • Fixed bug causing some symbol icons to disappear on works listings.

  • Fixed bug causing unposted chapters to appear on chapter navigation listings.

  • Fix for bug causing no results to be returned when limiting search to a specific category.

  • Fixed various encoding issues causing problems with tags which included special characters.

  • Fixed a problem causing endless redirects on the preferences page when there was an error.

  • Fixed problem causing errors when downloading some works with special characters.

  • Modified pdf downloads so they appeared with a plain white background.

  • Improved adult content warning behavior so that links to 'Show comments' are preserved when you have to click through the warning.

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Published:
2010-11-11 23:11:40 -0500
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Along with the upgrade to Rails 3, there have been significant changes and improvements to our HTML sanitizing and parsing in Release 0.8.2. These changes should make things clearer for authors and much faster for readers!

Here is a quick breakdown for those who just want the highlights, followed by a more detailed explanation of what was changed and how it all works.

Highlights

  • Blank lines and carriage returns will now be converted to paragraph (<p></p>) and line-break (<br />) tags in the text editor.

  • The text will automatically be parsed and "cleaned up" -- any tags that were left open get closed, any mis-nested tags get fixed, etc.

  • The text will be sanitized, to remove any elements that are potentially harmful to our server.

  • This change fixes the known bug where switching from HTML mode to Rich Text mode causes all your paragraphs to disappear. (Yay!)

  • This change will also allow users to embed video from: youtube, vimeo, blip.tv, dailymotion, viddler, metacafe, and 4shared. (Yay!)

What's Behind the Scenes

The new back end for content works in three steps.

  1. There is now a paragraph-adder that converts blank lines and carriage returns into paragraph tags (<p></p>) and break tags (<br />) based on a few simple rules:
  • A blank line left between two pieces of text will be made separate paragraphs:
  • Here is paragraph one.

    Here is paragraph two.

    will become:

    <p>Here is paragraph one.</p>

    <p>Here is paragraph two.</p>

  • A carriage return or newline in the middle of text will add a break tag:
  • Here is a line
    with a carriage return in the middle.

    will become:

    Here is a line <br />
    with a carriage return in the middle.

  • We also will preserve extra blank lines -- if you have TWO blank lines in a row, we will add in an empty paragraph:
  • Here is paragraph one, and I want extra space after it.

    Here is paragraph two.

    will become:

    <p>Here is paragraph one, and I want extra space after it.</p>

    <p> </p>

    <p>Here is paragraph two.</p>

  • Note: The paragraph-adder will put <br /> tags at the end of each line whenever there is a carriage return, even in things like lists. So, if you have a nice chunk of HTML in your story that you coded up by hand like this:
  • <ul>
    <li>Item one.</li>
    <li>Item two.</li>
    </ul>

    You can avoid having <br /> tags added by putting the list into a single line with no carriage returns instead:

    <ul><li>Item one.</li><li>Item two.</li></ul>

  • The next step is a Ruby on Rails gem (basically a kind of plugin) called Nokogiri, which parses the text and gives it back to us as a well-formed chunk of XHTML. What this means among other things is that:

    • any tags that were left open get closed

    • any mis-nested tags get fixed (eg, if you do <strong><em>foo!</strong></em> Nokogiri will turn that into the correct version (<strong><em>Foo!</em></strong>)

    • any attribute values that aren't properly in quotes get fixed

     

  • Finally, we use the gem Sanitize to clean up this XHTML and take out anything that is legal but not necessarily safe. Sanitize uses a whitelist, meaning that only the tags and attributes we specifically tell it are allowed are let through. It's very customizable, and we have been able to write special rules for Sanitize to safely allow embeds of videos from specific sites (currently: youtube, vimeo, blip.tv, dailymotion, viddler, metacafe and 4shared.) Once Sanitize is done, the final version is saved into the database.

  • There is lots of documentation available on Nokogiri and Sanitize on their respective sites.

    What you see when editing

    • If you are working in a field (like content in the Post New Work form) that allows you to use the Rich Text Editor, the tags <p> and <br /> will show, because otherwise if you switch to the Rich Text Editor, it will do that horrible thing where your whitespace disappears and your text all runs together into one giant blob!
    • If you manually put in some <p> tags that had extra attributes on them, like "<p align=center>", the tags will show.
    • The <p> and <br /> tags will not show when you edit fields like notes and summary, however, where there is no option to use the Rich Text Editor.

    Here's an example of how the tags will look on content in the Post New Work form:

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    Published:
    2010-11-11 06:42:09 -0500
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    Barring last minute snags, we'll be deploying new code to the Archive of Our Own today! This is a BIG release - we've upgraded the site to run on Rails 3 (the framework the Archive is built on), a change that involved changing ALL the code. We also have some new code for collections and challenges, some performance enhancements, and a bunch of other nice little tweaks and enhancements.

    Because this release involves lots of big changes, the Archive will have scheduled downtime while we deploy. We expect to take the site down for approximately 12 hours from 13.00 EST on 11 November 2010 (what time is this in my timezone?) . This time may change if we hit unexpected problems, but we'll send out a message on our Archive status Twitter account AO3_Status before we start and when the Archive comes back up.

    We thank you for your patience, and we hope you'll enjoy the improvements in the Archive when the maintenance is done!

    Comment

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    Published:
    2010-10-19 23:33:21 -0400
    Tags:

    The Archive has had an exciting year! We bought shiny, shiny servers (of our own!) in September 2009, allowing us to move out of closed beta and share the wonderful fruits of our coders' and testers' labor with the rest of fandom! Since entering Open Beta on 15 November 2009, we've had a dizzying succession of exciting achievements!


    • We've introduced tons of awesome features, both big and small: the ability to backdate a work, new options for bookmarking and reccing, skins, mobile downloads, tools for running collections and challenges, and many, many more!

    • We saw two successful challenges run as test cases for our collections code - Yuletide Treasure in December 2009 and Remix Redux in March 2010 - and saw many more wonderful challenges and collections set up home on the Archive, including the Final Fantasy fanworks exchange, the House M.D. Big Bang Challenge, and the LGBT fest.

    • We celebrated the first birthday of the servers of our own with a party, cake and lots of fannish creativity!

    • We helped set up two new committees in the OTW - Tag Wranglers and Support - who joined Accessibility, Design & Technology in managing the day-to-day work on the Archive!

    • On 20 August 2010 we hit 100,000 works on the Archive!

    • On 10 October 2010 (10/10/10!) we hit 10,000 registered Archive users!

    • We add approximately 150 new users per week (and we have more requests that that - we have to add people slowly so the site can cope).

    We have so many more exciting things planned, including art and vid hosting, subscriptions, improved challenge code, more options for bookmarking and reccing, private messages, and better commenting features.

    All of this cool stuff is made possible by the collective contribution of fandom, which has come together to code, test, run systems, tag wrangle, provide user support, offer legal advice to help protect the fannish mission of the Archive, and support the AO3 financially through donations to the OTW. Our user numbers grow every day, and the servers of our own are already creaking under the weight of all that fannish passion and creativity. Thanks to the support of our members, we're already able to commit to buying new, more powerful servers (our Systems committee are choosing them RIGHT NOW) - but we need your continuing financial support going forward to keep on extending our infrastructure, and to pay for bandwidth and hosting costs. Just $2 from every Archive member would be enough to pay for our new hardware; we're asking for a US$10 donation. That support will make you an OTW member, with voting privileges. You already have a voice in the future of the AO3 - all users do. But your donation will help us make fandom's dreams a reality.

    Make sure fandom can continue to own our own servers! Donate to the OTW now!

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